Change in education system: need of the day


Punita Nehru
Principal, Sri Sathya Sai Vidya Vihar, Indore

Indian education system is trying to come to terms with the fact that the change is required but there is still a long way to go.

With the tectonic changes having taken place and the technological transformation across the globe, in the last couple of decades, it has become imperative that the changes ought to be brought about in the field of education, too. The Indian education system is trying to come to terms with the fact that the change is required, though, at present they are just furiously spot jogging. Some schools, indeed, have realized that just imparting knowledge in the four walls of classroom is just not enough. They are realizing that children have to be helped in building skills sets, attitudes and values and discretion to utilize the available knowledge and evaluate it. Importance has to be accorded to skills like problem solving, critical thinking, creative thinking, reasoning, the ability to connect with various things etc.

The above skills can be developed through an expansive education system in which teachers actually act as facilitators and guides; where building interrelations and inter connections between various subjects is done; where children learn through experiential learning rather than rote; where freedom is given to children to think out of the box, independently; where, from day one in school children are NOT conditioned to what is “Right” and what is “Wrong”; where they learn by doing, inquiring and exploring. Unfortunately, the present system just does the opposite – spoon feeding, encouraging rote learning, discouraging innovation and free thinking.

Time has come to take stock of the situation and add and subtract, subjects or/and may be improvise some. To mention one aspect, we need to understand that “Education in Human Values” is not and can NOT be a separate subject taught through books in a particular period by a particular teacher. On the contrary, it has to be inculcated in a child through every subject and activity in school.

The Evaluation system needs to be changed too. We have rote learning through books and blackboard teaching and then we introduce CCE. That doesn’t work. We have to create an effective educational system and process which will be conducive for the CCE to work.

The sooner we wake up and start thinking independently (which incidentally we were not taught to do), the sooner we stop looking at education systems followed in the best of countries, the sooner we realize we cannot cut, copy paste any foreign system and the sooner we realize we, as a teacher community, CAN come up with a curriculum and system most suitable to our culture, ethics and complex background of our country, the better it is going to be for the future of our great nation. Let’s get up and start thinking, holding hands. What can’t we do ? After all before we were conditioned that the west is better (and subsequently it became), weren’t we the flag bearers of education in the world ?

Punita Nehru, MA (English), B.Ed., M.Phil., is Diploma in Child counseling and Diploma in Career Counseling. She has 30 years of teaching experience and has been the principal of the following schools — Delhi Public School, Hisar; DAV Public School, Ambala Cantt; Pragyan School, Greater Noida; Delhi Public School, Raipur and Sri Sathya Sai Vidya Vihar, Indore.

Am eminent sports person, she has been joint secretary of Madhya Pradesh Volley Ball Association and Indian Amateur Boxing Association.